AgeLab Identifies Potential of Public & Affordable Housing as Platforms for Innovation
November 19-21, 2008
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin was a featured speaker at the 2008 Enterprise Community Conference. Founded by urban visionary developer Jim Rouse, and his wife Patty, Enterprise is comprised of 2,500 community organizations, public housing authorities and Native American Tribes nationwide. Together their mission is to see that all low-income people have the opportunity for fit and affordable housing. Enterprise’s investment arm invests $1 billion annually in affordable housing and community development. In collaboration with AARP’s Livable Communities initiative, Joe Coughlin outlined the AgeLab’s research vision to integrate smart technologies into public and affordable housing. Speaking in Baltimore, Coughlin observed that the sheer size and coming demand for housing for low-income elderly could be a platform for innovation to jump start what has been an otherwise lethargic market for "smart" technologies and services in private homes. His talk, “Community & Affordable Housing as Platforms of Aging Services Innovation” included projections indicating that an additional 730,000 housing units will be needed to meet the needs of low income and poor older Americans by 2020. Moreover, the existing stock of affordable housing is in dire need of modification and renewal to meet the needs of an aging America. Citing these factors, combined with the convergence of available and affordable technologies, Coughlin stated that there is an opportunity to re-envision housing as a platform for services innovation – enabling public/private partnerships to creatively develop and efficiently deliver health, mobility, nutrition and social services to low-income and poor older Americans.